Navigation Links
Tooth plaque provides insight into our prehistoric ancestors' diet
Date:7/16/2014

A new study may provide evidence that our prehistoric ancestors understood plant consumption and processing long before the development of agriculture, according to a study published July 16, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Stephen Buckley from University of York and colleagues.

Evidence of plant consumption before the adoption of agriculture is difficult to find; such evidence is meaningful for understanding how much prehistoric people knew about the ecology and potential therapeutic properties of plants. Scientists in this study extracted and analyzed chemical compounds and microfossils from dental calculus (calcified dental plaque) from ancient human teeth at Al Khiday, a pre-historic site on the White Nile in Central Sudan, Africa. One of the five sites at Al Khiday is predominantly a burial ground of pre-Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Later Meroitic age remains. As a multi-period cemetery, it can provide us with a useful long-term perspective on any materials recovered there.

The authors chemically analyzed dental calculus samples from 14 individuals in the three different periods and found that humans ingested a certain plant, purple nut sedge, for at least 7,000 years, during both pre-agricultural and agricultural periods. As a good source of carbohydrates with potential medicinal and aromatic qualities, purple nut sedgetoday regarded as a nuisance and considered to be the world's most costly weed formed an important part of the prehistoric diet. In addition, the ability of the plant to inhibit a certain type of Streptococcus may explain the unexpectedly low level of cavities found in the population. According to the authors, the research suggests that prehistoric people living in Central Sudan may have understood both the nutritional and medicinal qualities of purple nut sedge as well as other plants.

Lead author Karen Hardy, said: "By extracting material from samples of ancient dental calculus, we have found that rather than being a nuisance in the past, the purple nut sedge's value as a food, and possibly its abundant medicinal qualities, were known." She added, "We also discovered that these people ate several other plants, and we found traces of smoke, evidence for cooking, and for chewing plant fibres to prepare raw materials. These small biographical details add to the growing evidence that prehistoric people had a detailed understanding of plants long before the development of agriculture."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kayla Graham
onepress@plos.org
PLOS
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Huge tooth fossil shows marine predator had plenty to chew on
2. A tiny, toothy catfish with bulldog snout defies classification
3. Bacterium and fungus team up to cause virulent tooth decay in toddlers
4. Targeting cancers sweet tooth
5. Alligator stem cell study gives clues to tooth regeneration
6. New evidence on how fluoride fights tooth decay
7. UF researcher describes new 5-million-year-old saber-toothed cat from Florida
8. Fluoride in drinking water cuts tooth decay in adults
9. Medicinal toothbrush tree yields antibiotic to treat TB in new way
10. Evidence contradicts idea that starvation caused saber-tooth cat extinction
11. Saber-toothed cats in California were not driven to extinction by lack of food
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Tooth plaque provides insight into our prehistoric ancestors' diet
(Date:3/20/2017)... , March 20, 2017 PMD Healthcare ... personal spirometer and Wellness Management System (WMS), a remote, ... Founded in 2010, PMD Healthcare is a Medical Device, ... a mission dedicated to creating innovative solutions that empower ... With that intent focus, PMD developed the first ever ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... , March 13, 2017 Future of security: Biometric Face ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match face pictures against ... basis to identify individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG,s "Face Matching" is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... FRANCISCO and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. ... , "Eating Well Made Simple," and 23andMe , ... help guide better food choices.  Zipongo can now provide ... their food preferences, health goals and biometrics, but also ... certain food choices. Zipongo,s personalized food decision ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)...   iSpecimen ®, the marketplace for ... Service (DPS), a full-service anatomic pathology reference lab ... States , has joined a program offered by ... (DHIN) to make human biospecimens and associated data available ... announced in 2015 as a collaboration between iSpecimen and ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 22, 2017 MarketNewsUpdates.com News Commentary  ... The traditional ... being pressured as of late due to the rise of ... has a dramatic impact on patient,s quality of life as ... for identifying new forms of opioid formulations that prevent abuse. ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Mass. , March 22, 2017   Boston ... next-generation cancer therapeutics designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... Patricia S. Andrews as Chief Executive Officer, effective ... succeed Chiang J. Li , M.D., FACP, who ... ten years ago. Under his leadership, Boston Biomedical has ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 21, 2017 , ... Premier executive recruitment firm, Slone Partners, is ... by Hunt Scanlon Media. , Hunt Scanlon Media is one of the ... global news source in the human capital sector. , “It is a great honor ...
Breaking Biology Technology: